By Caden Cole
Photos by Claire Skillette and Beth Toennies
2020 Centralia High School graduates received an in-person graduation on Saturday. The school board had elected to forego the original May graduation date in hopes of having a normal graduation ceremony. Attempting to follow the CDC guidelines for COVID-19, masks were required to enter the building and each graduate only received two tickets for guests. Both graduates and guests spread out in seats six feet apart. There was no traditional music from the band and choir in the shortened ceremony.
Valedictorian Josh Wayman addressed his classmates with words of advice and celebration for overcoming the obstacles of 2020 and still achieving their goals.
Salutatorian Graci White urged her classmates to stay optimistic through hard times and always look on the bright side. She suggested that students look back on the year with gratitude for what the class did get to experience.
Hannah Parker was honored as the only student of the Class of 2020 to achieve perfect attendance all four years of high school.
Superintendent Chuck Lane introduced the school board members and celebrated that the tradition of in-person graduation was able to be held despite the pandemic. Each of the graduates then crossed the stage and picked up their diploma where it was set out on a table by Lane. A total of 200 were scheduled to receive a diploma, including eight foreign exchange students. Only one was still in the area to attend. About a dozen other graduates were also unable to attend, several who were already training for the military following enlistment after graduation.